Delivering newspapers in 2020 means fewer papers, longer routes, no bikes

CHICAGO -- Newspapers used to be delivered by kids on a bike making their rounds around the block.

Today, it looks very different. Jim Tres has been delivering newspapers to communities since he was five years old.

Now, in his 50s, he said it's changed drastically.

One of the big components in that change is the decrease in newspaper subscriptions. With fewer homes with newspaper subscriptions, that means longer routes, which means the means to a car is needed. No more bikes.

Tres also said the look of the paper delivery boy has changed. Noting that there are more woman in the industry and, in his place of work, 90% of the delivery people are Hispanics.

Joaquin Garcia said he's been delivering newspapers for seven years now. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic hit, he said it was one of his two jobs. He said that's the case for many of his colleagues.

Now, the newspaper delivery gig is his only source of income.

"There's a sense of tranquility," said Garcia.

His mornings usually start at 2 a.m and end around 6 a.m. On Sundays, when he said there's lots of deliveries to make, his days end at 7:30 am or 8 a.m.

He said on a weekly basis, he delivers about 2,150 newspapers making about $300 a week.

"It's sweet when you get a thank you, from customers, and they appreciate your job," said Garcia.